Undergraduate work placements not only enhance a student's employability, but have technological and monetary pay-offs for host businesses, according to research from Warwick Business School.
Commissioned by the Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (Step), a national work placement scheme for small and medium-size businesses, the study found that three-quarters of businesses said Step placements had a "beneficial impact on business".
Students had ideas on problems and acted as catalysts for change, the report said. "Step businesses recorded higher percentage increases in sales revenues in the year following a placement."
The research, to be launched at the Department of Trade and Industry next week, also found that 61 per cent of participating students believed their "academic work had benefited" and that 46 per cent had been offered full-time employment after graduation, compared to only 40 per cent of "matched, non-Step graduates".